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“Never give up on your dreams because of the time it will take to achieve them. The time will pass anyway.”
Earl Nightingale’s words reflect reality in so many ways for me. I came across this quote this week and just had to share it with all of you.
Do you ever feel like it takes forever to reach your goals? You’ve defined your goals, you’ve made a SMART, actionable plan to reach them, and yet – you’re just not there yet.
Don’t give up.
Really, I know it’s easier said than done.
It’s fighting the urge to scream about injustice when it’s all you feel exists. Resisting the tendency to curl up into a ball and forget you even wrote down your goal on your trusty Goal Setting Template. (You have one of those, right? If not, check out my post on How To Set Goals That Work and sign up to get one).
So, how exactly do you stay focused on your dreams despite all the hurdles? Here are my tips!
Be Excited About the Baby Steps
Yes, baby steps are tiny. Trust me, I’m the last person anyone would stick with the adjective patient. I get so excited about my dreams, sometimes it’s hard to keep the patience index in check. Remember that all those successful people you follow (for me right now, that’s all the wonderful blogging gurus that are out there) did not build what they have in a day, a week, a month or a year.
Trial and error is part of the process. Patience, too. Today’s quote reminds me of the time I spent eight months searching for a job that would allow me to have a visa to stay in the UK after my Master’s degree. Now, if you’ve ever been to the UK, you know that it’s one expensive country that doesn’t really love the idea of immigration. So, that involved a lot of financial and mental stress.
Baby step by baby step, I finally found a six month contract, though! If your action plan isn’t working, figure out why, and make a new one! Talk to experts that you look up to. Hire a coach. Take one tiny step at a time.
Reward Yourself for Milestones
Rewarding yourself for milestones is key! It’s true that a six month contract wasn’t my final goal, but I was celebrating like crazy! Grab a Gantt chart (like this free one at Ganttology) and plan out “milestones”, places in your journey towards your goal that mark success. Maybe you wrote a chapter of your first novel. Lost the first five pounds. Ran that 10km race. Bought your first house.
Whatever it is, write it down. It’ll help you convince that sliver of doubt in your mind that you are well on your way!
Stop Comparing Apples to…Anything but Apples!
Your dreams are yours. They’re achieveable, too. However, they are definitely not a measuring stick with which to compare yourself with everyone that you know. Why would I think that? Well, I’ve seen people think this a lot, actually. Instead of focusing on the goal they have in mind, they focus on what other people have and the injustice in the fact that they don’t have it yet.
It’s the second half of that sentence that’s a problem, actually. It’s great to have idols. To respect what your peers are doing. Comparing yourself to someone in a completely different situation (more experience, different choices, different starting point, etc.), just because they are in your peer group, will only make you feel like quitting.
Compare apples to apples, not to an arbitrary category that vaguely relates to fruit. (I’m comparing apples to monkeys, you may say, since monkeys eat bananas and those are pretty close to apples…)
Sounds ridiculous, right? It’s like becoming jealous of a colleague who has spent 10 years at the company working his way up and got promoted, while you spent 5 years working and 5 travelling the world (like me!) before re-entering the workforce. Can you really say that you should have the same caliber position? You’ve had other great experiences, but they’re just in a different category than the person you’re trying to compare with. Yes, you can hang in there and reach the promotion too, but you’ll need to focus, persevere and most importantly, not give up!
Don’t Quit – Words from Edgar A Guest (and/or John Greenleaf Whittier)
As I was writing this post, the popular Don’t Quit poem kept coming to mind. Do you remember that one? I used to have it on my wall as a kid. So, I thought, why not make a bonus image this week and have it up on my wall again? My favourite part of his poem is when he says “Success is the silver tint of the cloud of doubt”.
While I’m not 100% sure who wrote this poem, sources I’ve found (and that my readers have alerted me to – thank you!) are Edgar A Guest and John Greenleaf Whittier. You can find a downloadable .pdf in the printables library. You have access, right? If not, sign up at the end of this post!
So, how can you incorporate these words into your life?
Don’t doubt yourself when you are looking to follow your dreams. I know I’m guilty of that sometimes! It may take time, but be certain that you, too, can reach your goal. With the don’t quit mindset, a plan to take action and persistence, you’ll get there. I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment of this week’s quote – if you don’t keep trying, the time will pass anyway and you’ll still be at square one!
What are your long-term goals? Do you have any strategies to keep yourself focused, keep in the mindset and persevere until you reach your goals?
I’d love to hear your strategies in the comments below. Let’s help each other keep on track to achieving our goals!
Well, that was a bit of a long post for a Monday morning, but I hope you’ve enjoyed it.
Have a lovely and productive Monday!
P.S. For all of you photography buffs out there, the photo I’ve used for this week’s poster, and the Don’t Quit poster, too, is one I took in Canmore, Alberta, Canada in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. I took the photo in April 2012 on a girls’ trip (before my European adventure began!)
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